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Winter Loving For Your Bike

As the memories of a long, hot Summer fade, it’s time to prepare for the cold of Winter looming on the horizon.  Winter cycling can cause extra wear to your bike.  We’ve put together a few simple checks to keep your bike in tip top condition.

The more often you clean your bike, the easier and quicker the job will be.  Every week or two, clean the chain, gears, cranks and wheel rims to remove built-up grease and grime.  Your muddy gear gets a thorough wash in the laundry, so make sure your bike does too.


Photo credit: Winter exploring at Te Aroha Wetlands - Tania Richards


Clean your bike

Salt, slush, and ice can destroy your chain, wreck your shifting, and corrode your frame if you don't wash them off after a winter spin.  Wipe down after every ride, preferably with warm water.  Once a week spend some extra time making sure your chain gets thoroughly degreased and re-lubricated.


Fit mud guards

Roads are gritted, there’s more rain, and together they get churned up into salt water that sprays your wheels and drive chain.  Fitting mudguards to the front and rear wheels will reduce how much gets onto your drive chain and brake/gear cables.


Check your Brakes 

Take both wheels off.  Wipe down the rim where the brakes touch the wheel with a clean cloth.  Look for signs of wear as a hollow dip in the wheel rim gives you less braking power.  Check brake pads, most have grooves to indicate how worn they are.  They’re made of rubber, so grit or glass can get easily get stuck.  Do a visual check and remove any debris.


Check your Tyres

Check your tyres for slow punctures, glass and other track debris, but don’t use your fingers.  Consider switching to heavier, wider tyres which are cheaper, will last longer and give you more traction and volume.


Lubricate the Chain

Always clean your chain before greasing.  Use solvent with a toothbrush, and use Q-tips to remove stubborn clumps of grease and grime out of corners and holes.  Drop lubricant onto each link of your chain, or run a line by spinning the chain as you pour the oil. Wipe away excess oil with a rag while spinning the chain.


Replace the Chain

Rain (and snow depending on where you ride) mixed with grit from the trail works it’s way into your chain, removing lube and causing wear.  Consider replacing the chain if it appears to stretch, or if you’ve noticed your gears are skipping.


It's also a good idea to keep your bike under cover and out of the elements.  Use cooking spray on your pedals and cleats for easier clip-ins.  


Photo credit: Wintery misty mornings - Caleb Bird


What you’ll need to keep your bike in tip-top condition

Rags and a toothbrush

Q-tips for hard to reach areas

Chain scrubber

Spare chain

Solvent, water and soap

All weather lubricant


Another tried and tested tip is to make friends with your local bike store.  They have experience and knowledge, together with the gear you need to keep your bike in great condition.

So, if you're short for time, or would like support, book a service with one of our Official Partners located across the Trail Network.


JollyBikes Thames

JollyBikes have qualified mechanics with a special expertise in Electric bikes and MTBs. Their mechanics are Certified Shimano Technicians, Certified Sram Technicians and the workshop is Bosch certified. Call in to see the team for quality consultations, basic care, services or technical problems. You can find more information here.


The Cycle Fixery

The Cycle Fixery is a bicycle repair and workshop, servicing the Waihou/Te Aroha towns and surrounding areas. From Puncture repairs to servicing, and full bike assembly, there is no job too big or small. You can find more information here


Venture Scooters - Walton

With over 30 years experience repairing all types of bikes, we are here to keep you moving. Our main focus is doing the e-Bike conversions, however we service regular bikes whenever required and carry a full range of parts ready to go.


The 197km trail is Grade One (Easiest), and suitable for all fitness levels and cycling abilities.  Although the Trail can be enjoyed as manageable day rides, why not promise yourself longer rides, and tick off some multi-day adventures.

If you’re passing through, or short for time, check out our half-day and one-day rides. Or if you’ve got time up your sleeve and looking to explore the region, then our 3-Day or 5-Day ride will help you tick off most, if not all of the Trail.

Ensure you Plan, Prepare & Pack the right gear. It can make the difference between a fun day out on the trails and a long walk back to the car. Regardless of the ride length, there are a handful of essentials that should come with you every time you hop on your bike. 

If you want to focus on riding with someone else taking care of the logistics, a guided cycle tour might be a good option for you. Supported tours have the advantage of providing planning, support, transport, and local knowledge of the Trail and region. 

The Hauraki Rail Trail showcases the best of New Zealand’s landscape, environment, culture and heritage. No matter how fast or far you want to ride, if you’re ready for an adventure there’s a great option for every rider.


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